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    “A report from Sydney University shows that in communities near coalmines more people die of respiratory problems, cancers and kidney disease. Children get more asthma and have higher levels of toxic heavy metals in their blood. People rate both their health and their quality of life as being lower. More people are admitted to hospital (for very expensive health care).”

    Oh come on. That is an extremely low quality report that wouldn’t pass muster in peer review. All those studies about health effects were off shore (most from non-comparable counties like Poland, Thailand, Turkey and China). Hardly comparable. Australia is world’s best practice in Coal mining.
    NSW is especially pro active in this area, and has been doing particle monitoring in the upper hunter for the last few years. How about reading the annual reports yourself? (which show most of above average particle activity comes from bush fires, wood fire burning and electricity generation, rather than coal mining).

    It seems to me that doctors demand a higher standard on mining that they don’t prescribe to their own profession. Medicine, like mining, is hardly risk free. Doctors make the call to prescribe medicines that have side effects, or conduct surgery with uncertain outcomes, all based on experience and knowledge, as well as evidence based study and risk assessment, much like the miners do.

    Risk is everywhere. The difference is how you measure and manage it. In my opinion, NSW and Australia do this extremely well.


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